By Eric Stock and Howard Pakowitz
BLOOMINGTON – Nick Ruud has been an offensive lineman and assistant coach for the Bloomington Edge and, previously, the Extreme for all but one year of the team’s existence.
The 37-year-old Moline native was named the team’s head coach at a news conference Tuesday.
Ruud said the community is a big selling point to get the right athletes here.
“I came here as a player,” Ruud said. “I didn’t know I was going to stay. I fell in love with the town, got a couple of coaching jobs. I raise my family here. It’s just a great place to live and I think guys that come in will see that.
Ruud said there’s a lot to be excited about in arena football.
“Plenty of high scoring games, 50, 60, 70 points,” Ruud said. “People are going to get excited. We’ve got great athletes here. A lot of the local guys are still here. The players we’ll bring in will be exciting. Obviously, we want to put points on the board and have some fun out there.”
Ruud is also the offensive line and tight end coach for IWU and previously coached the running backs. He’ll remain on staff with Wesleyan because they play at different times.
Ruud said he’s learned a lot about organization, ownership, and commitment from IWU coach Norm Eash.
“These are points he drives home with those kids,” Ruud said. “At Division III, those kids aren’t being paid money, but they’re putting in countless hours in, and at a school that is very difficult as far as education goes. So the commitment level that is needed and that you get out of those kids is awesome, and he does a really nice job preaching that.”
Ruud is married and has two young daughters.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.